Howdy, I’m Reggie Raye. I’m a design engineer, and I like creating things, particularly consumer goods. My story boils down to a day a few years ago when I got a 3D printer. My early 3D prints were on the simple side - one-piece and ornamental - combs, boxes, bottle openers and the like. Not content with this output, I’ve worked to continually upgrade my skills - ranging from parametric CAD to microcontrollers to DFM - so as to be able to create in full whatever ideas might be brewing upstairs. I’m not yet close to where I want to be, but I confess that every step of the way, every product or device posted here, has been a joy to design and fabricate. I hope you take as much satisfaction from looking at them as I have in making them.
As far as my design process is concerned, my main drivers are delight, manufacturability, and tectonic rigor. I’m especially attuned to the history of designed objects, and draw inspiration from a range of styles, though my favorites are Bauhaus, Italian Baroque, and the early Ottoman. Objects from the Ottoman Empire are the source of my fascination with patterns, which you’ll see play out in my work as ornamental motifs, or the morphologic seed. Lately, my main project has been reconciling these influences with the desire to respond to our time; in short, to develop a cohesive, contemporary, and original style.
Fun as it is to wax theoretic about process, I (do my best to) live by the maxim ‘great artists ship’. Thus, you can find my work in stores, journals, and exhibitions worldwide. You might enjoy a backpack organizer for travelers, the resurrection of Britain’s storied Chater-Lea bicycle pedal, my 3D-printed Mars habitation for NASA, an Ottoman-inspired skyscraper featured in Forbes, or a parametric lamp appearing in Vietnam’s first computational design exhibition. There’s even an over-the-top video about a service truck I helped design for Caterpillar.
With respect to my training, the lion’s share has been gained through projects ‘in the field’. In 2012 I cofounded an apparel company in the mass customization space. After two unfruitful years, I shifted focus and launched a human-centered product development firm. I sold my shares after three years of growing the company as Chief Technology Officer.
On the academic front, I got my start in cognitive science and programming at Bard College. After a spell working at MIT’s Brain + Cognitive Sciences Department, I began studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (first Career Discovery, then MArch I). The latter course, however, served more to push me away from architecture, first by way of Stanford’s d.school (thanks to STeLA’s design thinking program) and finally at Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute, where I took an MS in product development.
I currently work as a technical product manager at IBM’s Pittsburgh Lab, where I split my time between projects in natural language processing and quantum computing.